Under the National Development Plan, 2000-06, £20 million has been allocated to marine tourism which is one of the five sub-measures in the tourism measure, the others being: development of major attractors; special interest pursuits; tourism-environmental management; tourism-recreational angling.
The marine tourism measure is targeted particularly at improving marine access infrastructure such as marinas, berths and slipways. The marine tourism grants scheme will be administered by my Department and will be part of the two regional operational programmes, and the funding has been allocated with £6 million for the south and east region and £14 million for the Border, midland and western region.
The scheme is not expected to be launched until later this year when the final details together with applications forms will be available. The objective is to support the development of the marine tourism sector by improving the quality and capacity of the resources in a sustainable way. Specific targets are access infrastructure and integrated development and co-operative partnerships, particularly in relation to networks and clusters.
Eligible areas for funding: improvements in marine access infrastructure; feasibility studies for marine access infrastructural projects; pilot projects for integrated community or partnership development; information, education, interpretation and promotion material; specialised training courses, in conjunction with CERT.